The OSU College of Education, Health and Aviation and College of Human Sciences welcomed two scholars from Sweden’s Uppsala University to campus last month. Dr. Martin Karlberg, senior lecturer in the Department of Education and Education Studies, and Dr. Henrik Edgren, head of the Department of Education and senior lecturer, spent a week immersing themselves in American culture, connecting with colleagues of similar disciplines and exploring opportunities for collaboration between Uppsala and Oklahoma State.
“This visit gave them a deeper look at Oklahoma State programming, including a more comprehensive view of opportunities for future partnerships,” said Susie Popplewell, international programs coordinator for the College of Education, Health and Aviation and the College of Human Sciences.
Establishing student and faculty exchange programs is of significant interest, Popplewell shared. Formal partnerships between the two universities would allow undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty to develop global competencies and gain valuable international experience in the field of education, including its role in human development. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed by Uppsala and Oklahoma State, which will help facilitate additional opportunities for student and faculty exchange, research and other forms of professional engagement. According to Popplewell, Edgren and Karlberg are eager to welcome OSU students to Uppsala’s College of Education and develop international student teaching opportunities for both universities.
While visiting the Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, Karlberg and Edgren had the opportunity to discuss theories and research related to classroom management, professional development, special education, early childhood education, educational leadership, Scandinavian history and school psychology with OSU faculty. They also served as guest lecturers for several courses and toured OSU’s Child Development Laboratory. Edgren served as a juror for the 2019 Brock Prize in Education Innovation hosted on the OSU-Tulsa campus. Karlberg participated in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) meeting with local elementary school counselors, and he was an honored guest at a fundraising event for the Oklahoma WONDERtorium children’s museum. Throughout their visit, Karlberg and Edgren interacted with undergraduate and graduate students at various academic and social events, including the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, a student-led campus tour and a pumpkin carving event at the OSU Botanic Garden.
“There is so much value in understanding global perspective as it relates to educational research and practice,” Popplewell explained. “While the U.S. and Sweden have some notable differences in their approaches to education, there are also some remarkable similarities in what schools in Sweden and schools in the U.S. are experiencing. Child behaviors and adverse childhood experiences are great examples of this. These are topics educational professionals across the globe are dealing with, and we can learn so much from one another.”
Since the October visit, two College of Education, Health and Aviation faculty have traveled to Uppsala University as visiting scholars. Dr. Candace Gann, assistant professor of special education, and Dr. Kalianne Neumann, assistant professor of educational technology, spent a week touring the campus, meeting with faculty and students and exploring ways to further develop the relationship between the two universities.
Dr. Bert Jacobson, head of the School of Kinesiology, Applied Health and Recreation, helped initially establish Oklahoma State’s connection to Uppsala and is delighted in the progress that’s been made.
“The possibilities are endless,” Jacobson said. “We are looking forward to the next visit and hope to strengthen this ongoing partnership.”
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